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Herbert Smith Freehills

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Campus Ambassadors

In this section, you’ll get first-hand insight into work and life at Herbert Smith Freehills. Our ambassadors will show you who we are, what we do and how we do it. This is your chance to see our world, through our eyes.

We are Herbert Smith Freehills, a leading, full-service, global law firm working on some of the world’s biggest cases and deals. With an award-winning depth of expertise across a wide variety of sectors, geographies and legal specialisms, our progressive approach sets us apart.

Inclusivity is our defining characteristic: here, you’ll be part of everything. By combining different perspectives and potential from diverse backgrounds, we’re able to view and practice law differently. This allows us to break new ground, whether it’s a complex international dispute or a billion-pound, cross border deal. Now, we want to add your expertise to the mix.

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Statistics and facts

Firm type
  • International
  • City
Practice Areas
  • Energy
  • Agribusiness
  • Banks & Other Finacncial Institutions
  • Consumer
  • Financial Buyers
  • Government & Public Sector
  • Infrastructure
  • Leisure & Sport
  • Mining
  • Manufacturing & Industrials
  • Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare
  • Real Estate
  • Technology, Media & Telecommunications
  • Professional Support & Business Services
Head quartersLondon
Number of Offices27
Location of Major UK Offices
  • London
  • Belfast
Location of Major International Offices
  • United States
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Africa
  • Middle East
  • Asia
  • Australia
No of Partners468
No of Lawyers1
Average Trainee Salary£44,000
NQ Salary£93,000

Training Contracts

Brilliant lawyers come from all backgrounds. That’s why we take a roughly equal split of law and non-law students. Whatever your experience, you’ll work with some of the world’s best lawyers, on some of our biggest projects.

 

Salary

  • £44,000 in first year
  • £48,000 in second year
  • Total cash potential up to £93,000 upon qualification

 

Benefits

  • LPC and GDL fees paid by the firm or reimbursed
  • £10,000 grant on the LPC
  • £8,000 grant on the GDL in London
  • £7,000 grant on the GDL outside of London
  • Social and sports clubs
  • 25 days’ annual leave (with the ability to buy or sell up to five days)
  • Subsidised gym membership
  • Private medical insurance
  • Interest-free season ticket loan
  • Corporate GP service
  • Travel insurance
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Subsidised staff restaurant and café
  • Confidential employee assistance programme
  • ​Profit share scheme
  • Pension contributions
  • Access to a mortgage broker

 

Support

Once you’ve accepted your offer, you’ll be invited to events and networking days at the firm. You’ll be able to apply for a discretionary grant, which can be used for activities such as undertaking further study, a language course or voluntary work. Before you start as a trainee at the firm, you may even be able to work as a paralegal here.

We understand that life in a commercial law firm can seem daunting. That’s why we give you plenty of support, including a two-week induction when you join, department inductions at the start of each seat, trainee and partner mentors, and regular feedback, plus extensive on-the-job support from associates and partners.

 

Seats

You’ll rotate through four six-month seats, which you can discuss with our HR team before and throughout your training contract. All of our trainees spend time in corporate and dispute resolution. You may also choose specialist areas such as finance, competition, regulation and trade, intellectual property, and tax. Unlike many competitor firms, over 90% of our trainees go on secondment.

 

 

No of Trainees / Yr132
Average Retention Rates86%
Location
  • London
Degree class2:1
Sponsorship - LPCYes
Sponsorship - GDLYes
Assessment Process
  • Application Form
  • Case Study Interview
  • Scenario-Based Interview
  • Competency Interview
Vacation Scheme Requirement?
  • Yes (a requirement of TC application)
Number of Seats4

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Vacation Schemes

Our vacation schemes sit you with a partner or associate, as you take on real work for real clients. Alongside workshops and presentations, you’ll explore our practice areas, and join a team on a pro bono project. You’ll also network with other vacation scheme students, partners, associates and trainees. At the end of your scheme, you’re guaranteed an interview for a training contract.

 

Benefits

  • £400 per week salary
  • Advice on accommodation
  • Eligible to apply for our international vacation scheme
  • Trainee buddy
  • A guaranteed training contract interview

 

No of Vacation Schemes / yr80
Location
  • London
Training Contract Interview included?Yes
Assessment Process
  • Case Study Interview.
  • Scenario-Based Interview
  • Competency Interview

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Open Days

It’s never too early to start becoming a brilliant lawyer. Join us on one of the Herbert Smith Freehills first year workshops and Look at Law differently.

We are a leading, full-service, global law firm working on some of the world’s biggest cases and deals. With an award-winning depth of expertise across a wide variety of sectors, geographies and legal specialisms, our progressive approach sets us apart.

Inclusivity is our defining characteristic: here, you’ll be a part of everything. By combining different perspectives and potential from diverse backgrounds, we’re able to view and practice law differently. This allows us to break new ground, whether it’s a complex international dispute or a billion-pound, cross-border deal. Now, we want to add your expertise to the mix.

Experiencing life at a law firm during your first year of study opens up a world of opportunities. You’ll discover what it’s like to be a lawyer, how we think and the challenges we face. It’s a great way to learn if a career in law is right for you and it should also give you the tools to make a successful application for a vacation scheme later on.

Each spring, we run two-day workshops at our London office. You’ll hear from leading lawyers, take part in interactive sessions covering subjects like Corporate Negotiation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, insights into our pro bono work, and a careers fair. You will also get to shadow one of our current trainees, followed by an evening social event. By the end of the workshops, you’ll have a good idea of what life at the firm is really like and whether this is the firm for you.

You don’t need to study law to attend. In fact, we welcome students from a wide range of academic backgrounds. The only thing we’re looking for is people with the potential to become exceptional lawyers.

 

Key dates

  • Workshop One: 1-2 April 2019
  • Workshop Two: 15-16 April 2019

 

To apply, you’ll need to complete our online application form and blended online assessment. You won’t need to interview for a place on the workshop.

 

Number of Open Days2
Location
  • London

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Diversity Opportunities

At Herbert Smith Freehills we recognise and appreciate all the differences that make each of us unique. Upholding a culture of inclusion that fosters these differences is fundamental to our business and the diverse clients and communities we work with.

Embracing a diversity of backgrounds and views means we attract and retain the best talent and provide our clients with the most considered and innovative advice. Our approach to diversity includes initiatives encompassing gender, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability and social inclusion. Here are just a few of the ways we’re living our inclusive values:

BAME

We partner with Rare Recruitment who offer an introductory programme for top BAME students to the world of commercial law through ‘Articles’ and ‘Rare Foundations’. Our Roger Leyland Memorial Scholarship (in memory of Roger Leyland, the first black partner of the firm) provides exceptional black and minority ethnic students with a high level of financial support throughout their university studies, as well as work experience. We offer mentoring programmes for BAME future joiners and trainees. We’re also a sponsor of Bright Network’s Black Heritage event, The University of Warwick’s Multicultural Scholars programme and The University of Cambridge’s MCL African-Asian Bursary. Outside of the UK, we offer penultimate-year law undergraduates studying at a university in India the opportunity to join our summer vacation schemes.

Social Mobility

We’re committed to improving access to the legal profession for all and we aim to ensure we give under-represented groups the chance to shine. We’re proud to be ranked 15 in the top 50 UK employers by the Social Mobility Employer Index 2018. We sponsor the Rare Discuss programme for talented students interested in commercial law. We also collaborate with Aspiring Solicitors to increase diversity throughout the legal profession. We have a dedicated Social Mobility Partner panel and we’re also a founding member of PRIME, an alliance of UK law firms which aims to improve young people’s access to the legal sector.

LGBT+

Our IRIS (Inclusion Respecting Identity and Sexuality) network co-founded DiversCity, a cross-firm organisation set up to encourage members of the LGBT+ community to apply  to City law firms and build confidence among these students. This year we’ll be hosting the DiversCity in Law event in our office to give students the chance to talk to representatives from some of the top firms about what it’s like to be out in the City. We’ll also be participating in the Aspiring Solicitors’ Pride event.

Disability

Our Ability network works closely with MyPlus consultants to shape our workplace adjustments and ensure that everyone is supported in their role if they’re affected by a physical or mental disability. We hold events for students with a disability through EmployAbility and Aspiring Solicitors, where we explain the adjustments we can make to the assessment process to ensure everyone has equal access to our firm and to build confidence in talented students with a disability.

Women

Our Women Lawyers and Women Trainee Lawyers networks both run events within our firm. Our Women Trainee Lawyers network has also run a number of events on various university campuses across the UK. We’re committed to achieving our gender targets in relation to increasing the proportion of women in the partnership and in key leadership roles. As of May 2018, 25% of our global partnership is female (as against our target of 30% by May 2019).

 


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